Choosing The Best Prototyping Service To Achieve Your Goals

If you plan on bringing a product to market, chances are you’ll need to work with a manufacturer who can help you materialize your ideas. Having a streamlined system for generating prototypes will allow you to iterate until you perfect your designs, and this short guide will help you narrow down the right manufacturers who can help support your vision.

Finding The Right Manufacturing Partner

Prototyping services can vary in terms of what they offer and how well they’ll match with your goals for prototyping and bringing your product to market. While you’re searching for potential manufacturers to do business with, you may want to keep the following factors in mind…

They Should Have Experience With Small Orders

When it comes to prototyping, you’re often better off selecting a manufacturer that’s used to working with small-quantity orders. This will help ensure that they’re versatile and nimble enough to meet whatever deadlines and due dates you have in place. 

Modern development cycles are often short. While versatile manufacturers will be able to adapt to rapid changes, failing to partner with an experienced, small-run manufacturer could put you in a situation where you’re failing to hit benchmarks simply because your prototyping partner couldn’t get their manufacturing tooling ready in time to hit your deadlines.

They Should Understand Your Industry Well

Your industry is unique. There are also a fair number of choices that will affect the development of your prototype—what materials to use, what regulations are pertinent in the construction of your prototype, what machines will be needed to create your design, etc.

A manufacturer with experience within your industry will be able to navigate these choices alongside you, and they’ll be able to understand all that industry-specific jargon you need to talk through certain challenges and achieve the results you’re looking for.

They Should Provide An End-To-End Service

Creating a prototype can involve multiple processes, and the manufacturer you partner with should be able to cover them all. From CNC machining to plastic injection molding, there’s a wide range of pertinent techniques and tools, and you’ll be doing yourself quite the favor if you use a manufacturer who can navigate all those complexities in-house.

The reason for this is that the alternative—using a manufacturer who farms out every bit of your prototype before doing the assembly—is going to be a huge time-waster that slows down your operations. Combined with the fact that having to coordinate with multiple third-parties will needlessly complicate your project with extra variables, it becomes a clear choice.

And there’s an added benefit to choosing a single end-to-end service for your prototyping needs: security. Keeping all the details and components of your prototype under one roof limits the number of eyes and organizations that have access to your intellectual property, and thus the chances of your IP being stolen and winding up with competitors is greatly reduced.

Wrapping Up

Working with a manufacturing partner to produce your prototypes is sound business, but you can’t choose just any manufacturer to work with. Prioritize those who understand your industry, bring a wealth of experience to the table, and can work quickly on the small runs you require to continue improving your product. Finding a manufacturer that fits all these criteria may take bit more time up front, but will save you both time and money in the long run, so it’s worth it.

Kevin Thompson